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Government Executive Editor in Chief Tom Shoop, along with other editors and staff correspondents, look at the federal bureaucracy from the outside in.

When Agencies Go On Spending Sprees

Conventional wisdom has it that as the fiscal year draws to a close, agencies start burning through what is left of their budgets, to make sure they're spending all of their allocated funding -- lest it be taken away the following year. 

Apparently, the conventional wisdom is true, at least as regards purchases made through one of the largest governmentwide acquisition contracts. Either that or agency contracting officials are big-time procrastinators.

Joanne Woytek, program manager for NASA's Solutions for Enterprisewide Procurement contracting vehicle, said at an acquisition conference Wednesday that about 40 percent of the $2.5 billion in so in business under SEWP comes in the last quarter of the fiscal year. On Sept. 30 alone (the last day of the fiscal year), about 800 orders come flying in. NASA has to have extra staff on hand and working late to make sure all of the orders are processed by midnight.

Tom Shoop is vice president and editor in chief at Government Executive Media Group, where he oversees both print and online editorial operations. He started as associate editor of Government Executive magazine in 1989; launched the company’s flagship website, GovExec.com, in 1996; and was named editor in chief in 2007.

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